Really Disappointed with Wild Hunt Piece
I’m really not happy with the Wild Hunt’s reporting today. I just read this article on “Canaanite Religion.” After reading it and almost throwing up at the reference to all gods being emanations of yahweh (not so polytheistic there, I think), I just had to sit back and ponder. There is so much wrong with this piece I”m not even sure where to begin.
Firstly, let’s call a spade a spade, as a colleague of mine with whom I discussed this quipped. This article isn’t about the practice of Canaanite polytheism, it’s really about “Israelite Revivalist Monist-Panentheism.” Let’s not pretend otherwise. I”m deeply disturbed that this is allowed to pass for polytheism unquestioned. Monism is deeply destructive to any polytheistic tradition. It’s a slow, corrosive poison that reduces veneration of our Gods to a type of weak monotheism. We see it way too much and while it’s something to guard against in and of itself in any polytheistic tradition, I think it’s even more important to do so with Canaanite religion. Our monotheisms sprang from the same soil and co opted and corrupted many of the original practices of this tradition. To be clean at the very least, one should be vigilant.
Secondly, and what I actually find more disturbing is that the author of this piece effectively does her best to excise the work of Canaanite polytheist Tess Dawson from the religious landscape. Tess has been working toward the restoration of this tradition for well over a decade and has single-handedly been responsible for jump starting the veneration of these Deities in modern cultus. If one is going to talk about Canaanite polytheism, her not inconsequential contributions should at least be mentioned (all the more so since she’s actually a polytheist unlike the person interviewed). Her books can be found here and here. Her blog may be found here.
As with any of our polytheistic traditions, presenting Canaanite religion as a monolithic entity is both inaccurate and misleading. Anything claiming ‘all is one,” or that “all gods are emanations of another’ is not polytheism. While i’m told that this is a series highlighting Pagan and Polytheistic practices in the south, I expect better research and a more accurate distinction of what is and is not polytheistic.